The new R8* presents two innovative brand technologies in its operating concept. The Audi virtual cockpit is the digital instrument cluster of the future, and its MMI offers a new, easy-to-understand operating logic.The TFT display of the Audi virtual cockpit has a 12.3‑inch diagonal and a high resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels. It displays razor-sharp, bright and contrast-rich images that are free of reflections. Working in the background is a Tegra 30 chip from Audi partner NVIDIA. It was designed for low electrical consumption and has separate audio, video and image processing units. Its working memory is two gigabytes.
The Audi virtual cockpit presents all information with attractive and elaborately rendered effects. The needle of the rev counter, for instance, is computed 60 times per second, so it moves absolutely fluidly, even when revving the engine under full load. Scrolling operations through lists are based on a physical model that considers inertia, elasticity and damping. The color scheme of the display varies according to the basic menu that is selected – it is orange for the media menu and green for the phone menu.
The driver can switch between two user interfaces by pressing the “View” button on the steering wheel. In infotainment mode, a large central window offers a lot of space for the navigation map or lists from the phone, radio or audio areas. In this mode, the rev counter and speedometer are shown as small round instruments. In the classic view, the central window is smaller, and the instruments appear about the same size as analog gages.
In another third view, the performance mode, a large, central rev counter dominates the screen (standard on the R8 V10 plus, optional on the R8 V10). When the seven-speed S tronic is being operated in manual mode, the rev counter’s scale is displayed with a color background at higher engine speeds. Five segments, and at the end a red segment that indicates the limit of 8,500 rpm. The Audi virtual cockpit also displays a shift light which informs the driver that the engine speed limit has been reached.
Tire temperature and g-meter: the auxiliary gages
The driver can place various gages around the rev counter. Power and torque are shown as percentages. The g-meter, which ranges up to 1.5 g, visualizes the forces that occur while driving through curves, braking or accelerating. A lap timer can record up to 99 laps and evaluate times. As in the race car, the driver also gets information on the status of key technical parameters – the temperatures of the engine oil and transmission fluid and tire air pressures and temperatures.
The multi-media interface (MMI) in the new Audi R8 has an entirely new menu structure. It provides intuitive and easy operation with flat hierarchies. As in a smartphone, intelligent logic replaces branched menu trees, and frequently used functions can be accessed in just a few steps. A special highlight is MMI search, which is available for all basic menus and is operated by user input of free text. It generally generates answers after just a few letters have been input, taking the car’s current location into consideration.
Entirely new: the MMI terminal
The MMI terminal on the console of the center tunnel has a completely new design with a highly precise rotary/push-button control. The top surface of the control features the touch-sensitive MMI touch element. It lets the driver input characters as well as scroll and zoom with more than one finger. In front of and behind it are the toggle switches for the most important basic menus, the home button and the back function.
Buttons to the left and right of the rotary/push-button are used to open intelligently linked functional and shortcut menus which supplement many areas of operation. The driver can call up traffic information from the map menu, for instance, or the radio band from the radio menu. In navigation, the driver can save an entered destination in the favorites list or have parking spaces in the vicinity displayed.
Voice control has also undergone significant advanced development. The voice control system understands a large number of everyday expressions. To call a contact that is listed in the phone menu, commands such as “Connect me with Thomas Müller” suffice. The navigation system also responds to natural language inputs (“Where can I find a fuel station?”). This also applies to the basic menus Radio (“Play Radio Galaxy”) and Media (“I would like to hear music from my cell phone.”).
The driver of the new Audi R8 can also control all MMI system functions from the steering wheel – with the exception of wiping and scrolling gestures. Using the switches and the roller on the left steering wheel spoke, the driver scrolls through the menus for the on-board computer, audio system, phone and navigation. On the right side of the steering wheel are the volume control, voice control button, express phone button and a user-configurable favorites button.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.